When it comes to maintenance of your completed knitting or crochet project, you’re always left to wonder, “How to clean the fabric?” There are so many symbols on the yarn label that it can become confusing what to do. To care for your newly completed project, you need to understand what the yarn care symbols mean on the yarn label!
And to imagine, most of us don’t even read the yarn label while shopping, only focusing on colors and yarn weight!
Understanding the yarn care symbols will help you figure out the best way you can wash or clean your knitted projects once you’re done.
What Are Yarn Care Symbols?
To make make our lives simpler, most yarn manufacturers use universal care symbols that you commonly find on clothing labels. Just like on clothing labels, these yarn care symbols indicate how best to care of the project that you will make using the said yarn.
These symbols reduce the requirement of text on yarn labels as they are universally accepted.
How Are They Useful?
As mentioned above, these yarn care symbols are helpful in identifying the proper care for a knitted or crochet project.
Whether you are making something for yourself or giving a handmade item as a gift, giving the recipient the proper care instructions will be a great idea. You can even give them the yarn label so that they know how to best care for the hand knitting or crocheted item.
It will tell you how to wash the item, whether or not it needs ironing, how to dry it, and even how exactly you need to iron it!
Well, these care instructions and symbols are not only useful when you’ve completed a project. Yarn care instructions are even important when you are choosing a yarn for your project. For example, if a yarn is dry cleaning only, maintaining a pair of socks or baby clothes will be too tedious. You don’t want to end up gifting someone a beautifully made blanket that’s nightmare to take care of.
For certain projects, you need a yarn that is easy to maintain, simple machine wash or hand wash without having to run through hoops for cleaning!
So, when it comes to choosing a yarn, don’t just see the yarn color and weight. You also need to check out the yarn care symbols and see that they match with your project requirements!
Yarn Care Symbols
No matter where the yarn comes from, the yarn care symbols on the label are pretty much standard. The tricky bit is the water temperature that comes with the washing symbol. Internationally, the symbol has water temperature in Celsius while any yarn from the US manufacturers will list temperature in Celsius and Fahrenheit both.
Within the yarn care symbols, they can be split into five basic categories:
- Professional Textile Care
These are like a basic set of information. Each symbol is accompanied by additional helpful care instructions. For example, a washing symbol (trapezoid shaped tub with wavy lines to show water) can have water temperature marked inside. Or it can have a hand symbol over it to represent hand washing. And the list goes on!
Read on ahead to find out more about the most common yarn care symbols that you will come across on yarn labels. If you do come across anything different, you can always check the ISO or ASTM websites.
The standard wash symbol is a trapezoid shaped tub with wavy lines to show water. Additional information is drawn inside the ‘tub’ symbol. Dots inside the tub represent the washing temperature.
The symbol for bleaching is a triangle.
Represented by a combination of square and circle symbol (a circle inside a square). The dots inside refer to the dryer speed.
The symbol is an iron with small dots inside representing the ironing temperature.
Professional Fabric Care
It is represented by a circular symbol. The alphabet inside the circle identifies the type of solvent that can be used for dry cleaning.
These are some of the commonly found yarn care symbols on most yarn labels.
You can print out the Yarn Care Symbols Cheat Sheet for easy reference so that you always know how to take proper care of your yarn and projects!
Check out other relevant resources from our website:
- Guide to Types of Crochet Hooks – How to Choose the Right Type for your Project
- Types of Knitting Needles
- Steel Crochet Hook Size Chart
- Size Conversion Charts for Knitting Needles & Crochet Hooks
Note: All the yarn care symbol images taken from Craft Yarn Council.